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Another Timely Article About Birds and This Time About Screaming

Last Updated on by mitchrezman

 
Hello, Mitch. Another timely article about birds and this time about screaming.
 
I’d like to weigh in from a very limited viewpoint: one rescued parrotlet who is aggressive but trying hard to be good and, two, a peach-faced lovebird who is the combination of Bette Midler, Carol Channing, and Ethel Merman wrapped up in barbed wire.
 
Though their screechings can’t match the volume of the bigger guys, at full throat it can still be an ice pick in the ear. I keep cotton balls near the cage for earplugs.

From only these birds I have found two interesting strategies to quiet them down: the first is when I discovered that they were profoundly attached to the family aspect and when I was out of the room, they were much more vociferous. So now when I want to take a nap I move them into the bedroom (which one would think would be contraindicated) but they stop making noise immediately, except for a little nestling around. The same applies to watching a television program in another room. I bring them in and they instantly settle down. I think it’s because they can see me. But I also think it’s because they’ve been given the honor of physically being part of their family.

 
The second is that I never scream at them. When they are making noises and calling, I answer back with a soft response to them by name. It is astonishing to me what kind of conversations we can have even if we are not in the same room. You might think me a dreamer but Maisie, the lovebird, has a call – a short sound – that is unmistakenly her name for me. When I answer with a short “Maisie,” she makes a soft chortle.
 
And so it goes for us. I have lowered the decibels to a level that satisfies us all and only for the price of a little time and understanding.
 
Best regards and continue to keep up your great writing.
 
SRB

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Just a couple of notes on this post. First, whispering to a screaming parrot is the fastest way to quiet them. they want to know what you are saying, and will quiet to hear you. Earplugs are important, because they keep you from losing your patience, which is the most important part of interacting with parrots. Also, they ARE trying to keep in touch, it has a name “contact calling” and it is how they keep in touch with their flock. Very important for survival, and part of their parrot brain still thinks they need that. How you respond to the calling has a lot to do with how tolerable your home will be. Yelling is always a mistake. Parrots will pretty much always raise their decibel level to the ambient noise level. turning up the tv to compete only makes it worse. Right now I am working on changing the dynamic for a little spectacled amazon who lost his fifteen year home because his call got out of hand, and his owners didn’t have the patience to stop it back when it was easy. Within the first two weeks, I had gotten it down to a tolerable level. Now we has thirty or forty seconds first thing in the morning, and at night. Otherwise, it is gone. Though I am sorry he lost his old home, I know he loved them, he will have a good home here in this flock.

  2. my Moluccan cockatoo makes the inside of my ears pop. understanding some squawking is normal, it’s a call for attention or the late afternoon call to the flock.
    not sure if call to the flock is what my guy does;)
    he is a real performer. i try not to react to loud screaming, but when he makes the displays he knows make me laugh, it’s hard to be irritated. for fun the latest thing i taught him is to say “meow “. so when he walks to chew on furniture or plants, he pulls the cute meow card. lol. i ve had big parrots since 1996 and their sounding out is just what they do. i saw a website for a seller that required listening to the sounds that the bird they are interested in makes.
    good idea! too many big birds get shuffled around owner to owner because the owner learns that they do indeed have a voice!! it’s a small price to pay for living with these intelligent, delightful creatures.

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